Onboarding Best Practices for Building a Strong Workforce

Using onboarding best practices can be key in your efforts to retain new hires from their first day on the job. To be effective, onboarding should be viewed as a strategic process, designed to provide the training and knowledge a new employee needs to be successful in their position.

In fact, says Paychex HR generalist Jessica Totman, successful onboarding should start before day one.

“Start communicating with the employee as soon as possible on what to expect on the first day,” she says. A preliminary email could include:

  • A warm welcome (“We’re excited for your first day and the team looks forward to meeting you”)
  • Where to go (company’s address) and where to park, if the employee will be located at a job site
  • Who to ask for/who they will meet on the first day
  • A short description of what to expect in terms of paperwork, a tour of the workplace, introduction to team members, etc.

Many businesses supplement a pre-first-day email with a welcome package and onboarding schedule that may include branded company gear and in-depth materials about the company and its culture. It’s also a good idea for the new hire’s manager or another senior team member to reach out by phone or email and formally welcome them to the team. Armed with fresh knowledge, a new employee could more easily assimilate on his or her first day at work. 

On day 1

On the first day, Jessica Totman says, a new email should be waiting for the employee, which includes information such as:


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